Microbial predation in coupled chemostats: A global study of two coupled nonlinear oscillators

Mark A. Taylor, Stavros Pavlou, Ioannis G. Kevrekidis

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5 Scopus citations


Predator-prey systems in continuously operated chemostats exhibit sustained oscillations over a wide range of operating conditions. When two such chemostats interact through flow exchange, the interplay of the oscillation frequencies gives rise to a wealth of dynamic behavior patterns. Using numerical bifurcation techniques, we perform a detailed computational study of these patterns and the transitions between them as the coupling strength and relative frequencies of the two chemostats vary. We concentrate on certain strong resonance phenomena between the two frequencies as well as their mutual extinction and provide a representative sampling of possible phase portraits for our model system. Our observations corroborate recent mathematical results and case studies of coupled nonlinear chemical oscillators in which regions of mutual extinction as well as the Arnol'd structure for two-parameter families of maps of the plane have been observed. We highlight certain unexpected features of the operating diagram discovered through our computational study and discuss their implication for the dynamic response of the chemostat system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-66
Number of pages42
JournalMathematical Biosciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Applied Mathematics
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation


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